The Strange Boy
You could never tell if Nafis was a student studying in a college by looking at his face. He looks more like a student studying in tenth grade or lower. He’s six feet and an inch in height with short black hair and was white in complexion.
Today is a big day for Nafis as he is going to his new college for the first time of his life. Yet he was late for college. But somehow he managed to reach his class on time. He got into the class panting and quickly sat in an empty seat he found in front of him before the class started. Sitting next to him was a boy with long, messed up curly hair. He was white and had light brown eyes.
Nafis looked at the boy and smiled and tried to suppress most of his panting to save himself from the awkwardness. He then took a moment to catch his breath and reached out his hand for a handshake. Just as Nafis was about to introduce himself to him, out of the blue, the boy said, “You’re Nafis, right?’’
Nafis asked “How do you know my name? Have we met before?”
The boy smiled and said “Oh no…we haven’t met anywhere before.”
“So how do you know my name?” Asked Nafis.
“I deduced your name.” answered the boy and then said, “And you wouldn’t happen to live near the Hath Khola Bazaar, would you?’’
“How do you know all of this?!” Nafis was amazed.
“Well I had to observe a lot of things about you to deduce these information. But it was hard for me to deduce your name as I only saw your first and middle names, Naimur Rashid, from your ID card, but could not see the whole name as half of the card was outside the pocket and half of it inside. So the only thing for me was to find your last name, and a typical Bengali name would be…well it could be anything. But at that moment I had a few names in my mind like - Nabil, Noor, Nahid, Nasir, Niloy and Nafis and a few more names starting with the letter ‘N’…”
“Why would you even think to look for names starting with the letter ‘N’?” Asked Nafis as he interrupted the boy.
“Although it was hard for me to see your full name on your ID, I was able to see the shape of an incomplete triangle which was pointing downwards and obviously the letter in the english alphabets which has an incomplete triangle facing down in its shape is the letters- ‘A’, ‘M’ or ‘N’ and furthermore I thought of it about the shapes and the font which could be any San Serif font as it is an ID card. For the letter ‘A’ the two lines would join at the top so it would look more like an equilateral triangle I believe and for the letter ‘M’ it would be making two triangles and ‘N’ would be making one but both right-angled triangles, now the crucial part if you look closely the right-angled triangle made with the letter ‘M’ is a bit narrow, I mean the hypotenuse is a bit narrower than the right-angled triangle of the letter ‘N’ and in your ID the shape was more like a ‘N’ rather than a ‘M’ also because the name Nafis went well or almost perfect with the rest of your names.” Answered the boy.
“Oh my goodness how did you think all these things…I mean all these details...man OK just continue.”
“Then I observed your shoes and saw that they are dirty with mud stuck to them so you must got here by walking through a muddy road, and its winter, less possibility of having a muddy road at a time like this, only except if you are coming from a bazaar. I mean the bazaar do have muddy roads as there are fish shops and vegetable shops, so it definitely means you are coming from a bazar and your house could be near that bazaar. And I am expecting that bazar’s name is Hut Khola, as it’s just near the college and the mud is fresh on your shoes.”
“But still it could be any bazaar around here…why Hut Khola?”
“That’s because I came here through the Hut Khola bazaar and saw all of the shop keepers of Hut Khola, watering the full road, as no shop keeper wants dust coming from outside and getting in the shops and as you know fish markets; water everywhere so the road became watery and muddy and I know the timings aswell, its almost 8 and throughout this area the one and only bazaar that you will find available will be Hut Khola bazaar, and the rest of the bazaar you will find them to be available at 9 in the morning. Oh and by the way I am a first year student too, just like you.”
“Hmm…you figured it out by the ID card again right?”
‘’Wow! You really are quite the observer, aren’t you?’’
‘’Yes I am my friend. Yes I am.’’ Said the boy
‘’Your ability to observe things like that is rather creepy but cool!’’ said Nafis
They shook hands and Nafis asked his name
“Hmm…I think you will know my name soon” said the boy.
“What? ...but... why not now’’? Nafis asked
“Let it be a mystery for now…” said the boy with a smile.
That was bizarre. Thought Nafis
Before Nafis could say anything more the teachers came, and every one had to stand up and greet the teacher.
The teacher called all the names. Then the class started.
After two boring classes, during which everyone felt as if time were passing at the speed of a snail, it was time for everyone to go home. Nafis became drowsy and tired after the class but it’s nothing that a little friendly chat can’t fix. His neck started to ache because of the long and boring staring at the board. As Nafis’s new found friend was packing his bag, Nafis asked, “So what do you think about the teachers?”
The boy answered, “Well they are good, but do you know that the chemistry teacher loves birds and the physics teacher loves cats?’’
“When did you get the time to figure that out?!” asked Nafis.
“During the lectures.” Answered the boy.
At this point I don’t even know if I should be amazed or creeped out. Nafis thought to himself
‘’And how could you possibly have known that during the lectures?’’ Nafis asked
“It was simple; For the Physics teacher, I had seen some white hair on her legs below her kneecap, and now you might ask why a cat? Why not a dog? The answer is pretty straight forward if you pet a dog it won’t pass by your leg but may jump around and roll over anyway so she has a cat as her pet and by the looks of the amount of hair there was on her leg it seemed that she likes playing with her cat it must mean that she’s a cat lover and do you remember the small scars and cuts on the fingers of our chemistry teacher?”
’’Well I was bored and didn’t bother noticing it.” answered Nafis.
“Well I observed it but those weren’t the only clues I spotted. I saw some downy feather on his shoulder-.”
‘’ Ok I get it. You are going to prove it to me next and I am going to be amazed. So can we go home now? Sorry to interrupt you like that but I kind of want to get some sleep at home in my comfortable bed.’’ Said Nafis
‘’Alright. It’s ok. Let’s go home’’, replied the boy
The boy took his bag and left the class room, then again Nafis caught up with him.
They walked through the corridor, and went downstairs. Nafis and the boy saw some students sitting, walking around and playing football in the big campus field. The boy saw someone do some magic tricks and said
’’Let us see what magic tricks are being shown there Nafis.’’said the boy
Then the boy sprinted so fast that Nafis didn’t even get enough time to react to what the boy said.
‘’Dude! Can’t this wait?! I have to go home. I’m tired.” Sighed Nafis and said “Alright I’m coming.’’
Although Nafis was feeling drowsy he didn’t want to upset his new and only friend at school by abandoning him and walking home so Nafis used a lot energy to run over to his friend.
‘’You’re just in time Nafis. This student here is going to show us all a magic trick involving a soda can.’’ Said the boy to Nafis.
The Magician then said “Now ladies and gentlemen as you can see that in my hand is an empty can, which is a bit folded from the middle, I’m going to magically unfold this can and also magically refill it with whatever soda it contained; in this case coke, since it is a can of Coca Cola.” The boy then began to observe every move of the magician carefully so he can find out the secret to this trick.
The magician began by proving to the audience that the can was indeed empty then he shook the can lightly and proceeded to show the cap area where it can be clearly seen that straw holder of the can was missing.
Then the Magician told the audience “See, it does not contains any coke’’ and then moved his hands around the can which he was holding. Few seconds later, he stopped moving his hand and, said the magical words “ABRACADABRA’’ the magician said it very loudly, and keeping the can in one hand and used the other for ‘magic’ waves as he was pretending that he is using his ‘powers’.
Then suddenly, he shook it again and after a moment the can moved, unfolded, became erect and after a few seconds the can automatically became a new again. The audience started clapping out of amazement. Then the magician said “No, the show isn’t over yet, I’m going to refill this can with coke again!” The magician said loudly with a smirk.
The magician then held the can in his left hand, and waved his right hand over the can, and then he touched the top of the can with his right hand, the boy who was with Nafis still observed very carefully. The magician then held the can with both of his hand, and in a few seconds he removed his right hand from the top of the can. Then he gave the can a big shake.
The magician then showed the cap area and said “Look people I have magically brought back the straw holder!” the audience clapped in amazement once again. “What do you think is inside the can ladies and gentlemen?” The audience and Nafis yelled “Coke!’’ the magician opened the cap and the coke fizzed out of the can possibly because the big shake given to it earlier. The audience clapped in amazement very loudly.
Nafis was very impressed by the magician’s trick. “Did you understand how it was done?’’ the boy asked Nafis.
“I didn’t but I bet you understand how to do it right, Sherlock?’’ Asked Nafis in a Tell-Me-How-You-Figured-It-Out way.
’’Understanding how to do it was like eating a piece of cake for me!” said the boy.
“What!? No way! You figured out how do to this trick too!’’ exclaimed Nafis.
“Of course!’’ replied the boy.
“Well when did you figure it out?’’ asked Nafis
“Just a minute after the trick ended and you know what why don’t we walk over to the magician and I’ll uncover the mystery to him to see if I’m correct’’. The boy replied to Nafis’s question then challenged him.
“So is there any bet involved?’’ asked Nafis
“The only bet is that I give you the permission to laugh at my embarrassing failure if I’m incorrect.’’ Replied the boy
“That bet is good enough. I like my pocket money anyway.’’ said Nafis
Then Nafis started walking towards the Magician so he could call him to his friend.
The audience was starting to leave. Nafis then asked the magician as he was washing the sticky coke fizzing off his hand, “Hey brother, I’m Nafis. How are you?’’
“Bro, I’m absolutely fine, and happy, I noticed that you were watching my magic with the audience, so what do you think about it my friend is it any good?” He asked while smiling after finishing washing his hands. Nafis realized that the magician wasn’t at all the arrogant or conceited student that he would turn out to be, rather he was quite friendly and not at all arrogant. Nafis replied happily “It was really good!”
“Oh, thanks a lot my friend!” said the magician.
Then Nafis said ‘’ Although I found your trick to be cool but my friend over there says he has revealed the mystery of your trick!”
“Wow! Has he really?” said and asked the Magician amazed.
“Yes, my friend has solved your mystery in a minute.” Nafis said very strongly.
The Magician got even more amazed and more eager to meet him. Then Magician told Nafis, “I would like to meet your buddy.”
“Alright I will take you to him.” replied Nafis confidently.
The Magician was in a rush and wanted to meet the companion of Nafis fast. Nafis approached his friend from behind and whispered to him “He is here; show him how you have solved the magic trick.” The boy closed his eyes and nodded his head.
The magician said to the boy “I heard from your friend here that you cracked the mystery to the magic trick I showed? So, can you please explain?” requested the magician, then told Nafis “And Nafis my friend can you please leave, so we can talk privately?” the magician asked Nafis.
’’But why me?” baffled Nafis.
“You’ll know it later.” said the magician.
“Don’t worry he is trustworthy. He will not leak the mystery.’’ Said the boy.
‘’Alright I will let him stay then.’’ Said the magician
Nafis felt very happy and respected.
“Ok so can you begin the explanation my friend?” the magician asked the boy. Nafis drew all his attentions to what they were talking about.
“Ok, so let’s start, I believe that you crushed the can lightly, before the magic show and only folded the middle of the can, right?” asked the boy to the magician
“Yes, I did.” Answered the magician.
“So my deduction is correct then, so first you made a small hole in one of the black bars of the barcode using a needle and because of the hole half of the coke dripped out, and then you taped that hole shut using a thin and long piece of black tape, which stopped further leakage and at the same time you concealed the hole so nobody thought there was hole in the can. So this made your work easier as half of the coke was gone and then you were able to crush the can as there was less coke. And you did all these before the show. So first part was done; now the second part, which like the first was done before the show begun as well. You used a black sticker which you cut out like an open straw holder and that fits perfectly covered the opening of the cap and held it in such a way that light didn’t reflect on the black sticker so the audience thinks the can is empty and the straw holder was gone.
Now for third part as there was some coke left in the can you shook the can a little and then waved your right hand over it and the hand waving obviously didn’t do anything. You shook it again but this time, you shook it clockwise and anticlockwise which caused the coke to flow from one corner of the can to the other, and repeated this process for few seconds, which also caused the carbon dioxide to react. The concentration of the carbon dioxide increased because of the shaking and as a result the pressure increased as the gas started to spread everywhere inside the can, so the can got ‘fixed’, and without any sign of any folds. Then soon enough the can returned to its original shape perfectly. Now let’s move to the next step. The fourth step”
The magician was very astonished and couldn’t utter a single word after most of the unraveling of this mystery. As for Nafis he wondered, What on earth? How did he know all this?!
“Now, the fourth step is very simple, at the time when you said you were going to refill the can with its contents you were waving your right hand above the cap area of the can, and then amidst the silence of the audience, you took off the black sticker very easily as the audience were not focusing carefully to your hands, and then you showed the audience the cap area and gave a shake and opened the cap and the coke sprayed out from the top. Well then…the mystery has been solved and the case is now closed.” the boy said very confidently and boldly.
“Marvelously done brother!” said Nafis with excitement.
The magician was astonished and shocked. The magician was at a loss for words. ‘’Wow! No one that I met was able to crack this mystery with that much detail.’’ Said the magician
“What is your name, friend?’’ asked the magician
The boy replied, “I am Javed. Nokib Javed.’’
~To be continued.
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